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Upper Peninsula

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Staff at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in the Upper Peninsula will be joining Michigan’s largest nurses’ union.

The health care workers tallied their mail-in votes this week, with 35 voting in favor of joining the Michigan Nurses Association, and 17 voting against.

Kelly Engle, who’s been a nurse at the hospital for 10 years, says nurses and administrators alike were overwhelmed in the spring when decisions had to be made about caring for COVID-19 patients.


web image of four people sitting at tables in government building
Michigan Board of State Canvassers Zoom Meeting

Today on Stateside, we talk about the Michigan Board of State Canvassers meeting to certify this year’s general election results. Also, reimaginging the look and feel of dinosaurs with a National Geographic explorer.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the state. We check in with an Upper Peninsula health department about the outbreak’s impact in the area. Also, U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-13th) on Election Day results and the needs of her district. Plus, new music from a Flint singer-songwriter and musician.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, the Michigan Republican Party issued a number of unsubstantiated claims against election proceedings in Detroit this week. But on a county by county level, Michigan’s elections appear to have run remarkably smoothly. We check in with a county clerk about how the tabulation process went. Also, a reporter discusses an Upper Peninsula hospital’s preparations for another COVID-19 surge. 

THOMAS PARK / Unsplash

Two universities in Michigan are now each reporting more than 1,000 cases in ongoing COVD-19 outbreaks, according to weekly data released Monday by the state health department. Meanwhile, pre-K-12 schools in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are being hit especially hard as those regions remain hot spots for the virus. 

 

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, what military leadership makes of Michigan's active militia movement. Also, we look into a hotly-contested race Up North that could help decide which party has control of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Michigan Tech University from an aerial view
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, former Congressman Bart Stupak joins us to talk about the political climate in rural Michigan, and what he observes as the Democratic party moves left. Plus, the Upper Peninsula is dealing with some scary spikes in COVID-19 infection rates. We'll talk to Michigan Tech University's president about how that influenced his decision to pause some face-to-face classes.

Pickpik

Fungi foragers rejoice: a new mushroom-hunting season is upon us. Many species of wild mushrooms grow throughout Michigan, and this is the perfect time of year to try to find them. But before you savor that tempting toadstool, make sure you’ve done your research. (No, really.)

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

The Upper Peninsula recorded its biggest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases this week. In response, Houghton County Schools will close face-to-face instruction starting Monday for a two-week period. More outbreaks have been noted in Iron, Menominee, and other counties in the western U.P. 

LITTLE TRAVERSE BAY BANDS OF ODAWA INDIANS

State wildlife officials say the wolf population in the Upper Peninsula remains “healthy and stable.”

The Department of Natural Resources completed its biennial wolf survey between December and March.

Courtesy of the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City

Grand Traverse County health officer Wendy Hirschenberger hit a milestone this week she was hoping to never reach: 100 cases of COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began. While that’s a fraction of what some Michigan counties have seen (Oakland County, for instance, is close to 10,000) what worries Hirschenberger is that 55 of those cases are just since July 1.

Joe Pera in a still from his show
Courtesy of Joe Pera

Comedian Joe Pera is not from Marquette. But the version of himself he plays in the television series Joe Pera Talks With You is recognizable to anyone familiar with the Upper Peninsula.

The show has become a runaway hit on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim nighttime block. Pera's oddball observations on subjects like beans and grocery stores are weirdly hilarious. But what really makes the series is that Pera is not just being funny. 

elementary students in a classroom
Credit Tom McKee, Whitefish Township School District

Tom McKee is having some hard conversations right now. 

“Do we eliminate our elementary school? That means we put our kids on a bus for two hours one way to get to the nearest school,” says the Superintendent of Whitefish Township School District.

Spanning 270 square miles, the remote district has just 53 students, McKee says. “Do we eliminate our high school? Same thing, putting our kids on the bus, two hours one way.” 

Aerial view of Menominee River
Flickr Creative Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

Today on Stateside, Samuel Stanley Jr. officially took his place as Michigan State University's 21st president earlier this month. We talk to Stanley about his goals and plans for his first year in office. Plus, we talk about the ways climate change is already impacting human health in Michigan. 

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

An image of a cougar was caught on a landowner’s trail camera in Gogebic County in the west side of the Upper Peninsula, on July 7.

 

This week marks the fifth annual Leopold Festival, an event that takes place on the Les Cheneaux Islands in honor of Aldo Leopold, one of the founders of wildlife ecology and a dedicated conservationist.

 

The Little Carp River
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently seeking public comment on an application for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) to set their own water quality standards. The KBIC is based out of L'Anse Township in the Upper Peninsula.

marijuana plant
Drew Taylor / Unsplash

Another Native American tribe in the state has voted to legalize recreational marijuana, making them to second tribe in Michigan to do so.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians approved of a resolution that mirrors the state’s recreational marijuana laws.

From the top of a mountain, a snowy landscape with trees reveals a view of Lake Superior in the distance.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Most wind energy projects in Michigan are on farmland in the southern part of the state. They are often controversial even there, but one company wants to put a wind farm in an Upper Peninsula forest. Many community members don’t feel that’s the right place either.

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration has given western Upper Peninsula counties a grant to rebuild flood-damaged roads.

ENDANGEREDSPECIESLAWANDPOLICY.COM

A new lawsuit is seeking to compel the federal government to come up with a national plan to protect the gray wolf, including those in the Upper Peninsula. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to try to remove endangered species protection from nearly all gray wolves in the lower 48 states next month.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says a fatal neurological disease in deer has turned up for the first time in the Upper Peninsula.

The 4-year old doe was discovered about four miles from the Wisconsin border in Dickinson County.

a collection of glowing rocks known as "yooperlites"
Erik Rintamaki

Today on Stateside, why President Trump's tweets are unlikely to change Ford's decision to move small car production abroad. Plus, why rocks in the U.P. are giving off an alien glow. (No, it does not involve extraterrestrials.)

Listen above for the full show, or find individual segments below. 

Ford won’t be moving production of Focus hatchback to the U.S. Here’s why.

KAYE LAFOND / Michigan Radio

The federal government has again rejected Michigan’s request for federal assistance to Upper Peninsula residents hit hard by flooding in June.

Doctor's stethoscope
Pixabay.com

 


The Upper Peninsula Health Departments has published their first ever Community Health Needs Assessment

This 350-page report combines 18 months of research, surveying 5000 households spread over the regions' 15 counties. 

 

A living room, with a couch and a window, is shown with inches of mud piled on the carpet.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

In mid-June, massive floods devastated parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The situation has been declared an emergency by both the state and federal government.

This week, Bridge Magazine reporter Jim Malewitz did a deep dive into what the recovery looks like in the region nearly two months later.

jackson mine in negaunee
Andrew Jameson / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

This weekend, the town of Negaunee in Michigan's Upper Peninsula will be filled with the sound of wheezing bellows and ringing hammers hitting anvils.

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is holding its Artisans at the Forge festival, which includes blacksmiths and other craftspeople.

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

Flooding in the Upper Peninsula earlier this month prompted Governor Rick Snyder to declare a second state of disaster for Houghton County.

The declaration will open up additional resources and money for areas that were still recovering from severe flooding in June.

That flooding washed away large chunks of concrete and asphalt, damaged homes, and killed a 12-year-old boy.

Several roads that had already been repaired were damaged again this month.

black and white damaged ship
Department of the Navy / wikimedia commons

The remains of a Michigan man who was killed in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor have been buried in the Upper Peninsula.

Lowell Valley was 19 years old and in Navy when the USS Oklahoma was attacked. Radio station WDBC says Valley's remains were identified through DNA tests.

Valley's younger brother, Bob Valley, says he received a call from the Navy in January.

A funeral Mass was held Saturday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Ontonagon, followed by burial with full honors at the church cemetery.

A flooded road in Houghton.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

The state is asking President Trump to declare three Upper Peninsula counties hit by flash flooding last month disaster areas.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley wants the federal designation extended to Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties. Those counties were hit by record-breaking rainfall on June 17th, flooding homes, buckling roads, and causing one death.

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